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The Mortgage Mole

Eye on the prize

Could it soon be Sir Hector Sants? The outgoing chief executive officer of the Financial Services Authority may have failed to predict or deal with the fall-out of the credit crunch in 2008, but one of his last acts, as head of the failed regulator, could pay dividends.

As the FSA revealed in its annual report for 2011/2012 last week, Sants magnanimously passed on a performance bonus of £143,750 (although don’t feel sorry for him – he still made £835,000).

Instead, the money was donated at Sants’ request to charity The Art Room.

Obviously, this is great news for the charity, which offers art therapy to five and 16-year-olds who are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties.

But with Prince William’s wife the Duchess of Cambridge having been made patron of the charity at the beginning of 2012, could a knighthood be on the cards for Sants?

No repeat performance

At the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries’ annual dinner last week, the great and the good were out in their finery.

But there was a notable absence. AMI’s burger loving and mole hating chairman, former MP John Gummer and now Baron Deben, was nowhere to be seen.

After last year’s speech, when he ranted about how only people who own property could truly call themselves free, Mole was keen to hear him again. So where was he?

Fortunately, AMI’s director Robert Sinclair was able to clean up the mystery.

“Our chairman Baron Deben regrets that he can’t be here tonight. He found unfortunately tat he was double booked,” Sinclair told the audience. “So in keeping with all good politicians, he’s done the right thing, he’s put duty before pleasure. He’s missing this event to be at the Earth Summit… in Rio de Janeiro.”

Nice work if you can get it.


Lenders reserve judgement about reaching £130bn target this year

Gross mortgage lending of £12.2bn in May was 24% up on April’s £9.9bn, taking this year’s gross lending so far up to £55.7bn. The industry is widely expected to lend £130bn this year, which would mean gross lending would have to offer about £10.6bn a month for the rest of the year. Bob Pannell, chief […]

Retailers provide welcome shake-up

In this month’s Lending Zone we look at supermarkets and what their ambitions to enter the mortgage market could mean. Food and clothing retailer Marks & Spencer recently announced its ambition to set up a bank, albeit one backed by direct-only UK giant HSBC. It joins Tesco, which is awaiting its banking licence to begin […]


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